Is this cure for HIV also a cure for AIDS?

6 news outlets, among others, reported on the news of a possible ‘HIV cure’ after a 44-year-old British HIV+ man showed undetectable HIV in the blood following “kick and kill” treatment: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

One of the striking things about the story is that only 2 of the outlets mentioned the acronym AIDS, one of which only used it in an info box (The Sunday Times may have used the acronym but it is a pay-walled article). While this is undoubtedly trivial it shows that the disease state is now of less interest than the alleged cause.

If this man is either an ‘elite controller’ or just benignly HIV+ we cannot say with confidence that removal of ‘evidence’ of HIV averted his developing AIDS. On the flip, if this man comes to develop an AIDS-defining illness and continues to test HIV-negative would it be correct to say that disease is not AIDS simply because of the absence of ‘HIV’?

I predict this ‘cure’ will come to nothing, like all the others.

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